The Jewish Studies Program congratulates Marie Schulte-Bockum and Danielle Wagner, recipients of the 2017 Ruderman Scholarship in Jewish Studies.
Growing up as a Christian in Germany, Schulte-Bockum, a senior International Affairs major, was always interested in the complex relationship between German and Jewish history. In her scholarship application essay, she asked herself, “Why does Germany’s history of Jewish persecution and genocide haunt me? Why do I look into Israeli Jewish faces with guilt, searching for clues of their grandparents’ origin?” After traveling to Israel last summer on the Dialogue of Civilizations program led by Prof. Dov Waxman and Prof. Lori Lefkovitiz, she wanted to learn more, and decided to add a Jewish Studies minor to her minors in Political Science and History. “There can be no redemption for the past in the study of the past,” she wrote in answer to her own questions. “What there can be, however, is learning empathy and wisdom to forge a better future.”
Wagner, a double major in Environmental Science and International Affairs with minors in Jewish Studies and Environmental Studies, has long been involved the Jewish community, participating in BBYO (B’nai B’rith Youth Organization), attending AIPAC and JStreet conferences, and spending a summer working in Israel. For her, learning about Jewish history and culture as a Jewish Studies minor has been a way for her to grapple with questions about her Jewish engagement as she grows and evolves in college. She finds herself particularly motivated and inspired by the Jewish concept of tikkun olam, or repairing the world, applying the principle literally in her efforts to protect and care for the environment. She is particularly interested in the use of environmental cooperation to facilitate conflict resolution in the Middle East, an endeavor that brings together her majors in Environmental Science and International Affairs with her minors in Environmental Studies and Jewish Studies.
Read the rest of the Spring 2017 Haverim Newsletter here.